What is SSL Certificate?

In order to be able to use the SSL protocol, a web server requires the use of SSL certificate. When you choose to activate SSL on your web server, you will be prompted to complete a number of questions about the identity of your website and your company.

SSL certificate is a bit of code on your web server that provides security for online communications. It’s kind of like sealing a letter in an envelope before sending it through the mail. When a browser connects to a secure site it will retrieve the site's SSL Certificate and check that it has not expired, it has been issued by a Certification Authority the browser trusts, and that it is being used by the website for which it has been issued. If it fails on any one of these checks the browser will display a warning to the end user letting them know that the site is not secured by SSL.

Typically SSL Certificate will contain your domain name, your company name, your address, your city, your state and your country. It will also contain the expiration date of the Certificate and details of the Certification Authority responsible for the issuance of the Certificate.

SSL certificates inspire trust because each SSL certificate contains identification information. When you request SSL certificate, a third party, which is called Certification Authority (CA), such as Thawte, GeoTrust, or Verisign, verifies your organization’s information and issues a unique certificate, to you, with that information.
Consumers have grown to associate the 'golden padlock', that appears within their browser display, as an indication of trust in the web site. Clicking on the lock icon displays your SSL Certificate and the details about it. All SSL Certificates are issued to either companies or legally accountable individuals.
This simple fact allows e-Business providers an opportunity to leverage that increased trust level to turn visitors into paying customers.